Buttermilk roast chicken is a simple recipe for the most tender, juicy roast chicken with dark, crispy skin. Marinate overnight in a mixture of buttermilk, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper for a juicy and tender roast chicken.
I have cooked and eaten my fair share of roast chickens over the years, and this buttermilk roast chicken is by far the best roast chicken recipe in the world. I promise that once you try this style of roasting chicken, you’ll never go back.
The secret to success for this roast chicken recipe is to prepare the day before, because honestly, it needs at least 8-12 hours in an overnight marinade of buttermilk, fresh herbs, peppercorns, salt and garlic. The truth is, marinades are one of the best ways to add flavour and tenderize meat before roasting.
Marinating chicken in buttermilk is nothing new, you’ll find some of the best fried chicken recipes start with a buttermilk marinate. I first started using this method to marinade pork, and found that it make a simple pork roast or pork chops extra juicy and flavourful. Once I had success on that protein, I figured I’d try it out with chicken.
How do you make a buttermilk marinade?
This marinade starts off with buttermilk, which adds acidity and fat to this recipe. Along with the buttermilk, aromatics like smashed garlic and fresh herbs will add flavour–I’ve used rosemary, sage and thyme before all with great success. Salt and pepper also add flavour. The buttermilk marinade gets discarded after the chicken is done marinating and is ready to roast.
You could use this all purpose buttermilk marinade for pork as well as any other cuts of chicken such as legs or bone-in breast.
What temperature is the best for roasting chicken?
I like to roast my chicken at a high temperature, starting at 425F for the first 30 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 400F for another 30-40 minutes. Overall, it will take one hour to an hour and a half to roast a standard sized roasting chicken.
Keep an eye on your chicken, if it starts to brown too much, cover it with foil and if your oven is anything like mine and has hot spots, you’ll also want to rotate your chicken every 20 minutes.
Roasting chicken is an endless debate, but I think we (and Samin Nosrat who has a very similar buttermilk marinated roast chicken recipe) can all agree that marinating overnight in buttermilk is the way to go if you want a tender and juicy, flavourful roasted chicken with a crispy browned skin.
This is such a simple roast chicken recipe–there is no messy stuffing butter underneath the skin, or basting every twenty minutes.
The chicken get roasted along with vegetables. It would be a tragedy to waist all of that delicious juice that comes off the chicken while it roasts! For this recipe, I cube up a couple of potatoes, sweet potatoes and an onion and place the chicken on top. All the veggies get cooked in the same amount of time and you have yourself a one pan supper.
Buttermilk Roast Chicken
- 1 whole roasting chicken
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp + 1/4 tsp salt, divided
- 2 smashed cloves of garlic
- 5 sage leaves, you can also use 5 sprigs of thyme or 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow potatoes, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- In a measuring cup, whisk buttermilk with 1 tbsp salt, garlic, herbs and peppercorns.
- Place chicken in large, resealable freezer bag, add and marinade, ensuring the chicken is evenly coated. Seal bag, and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- In a roasting pan, toss potatoes and onion with olive oil and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.
- Remove chicken from the bag, discard excess marinade. Place chicken on top of vegetables, roast at 425F for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400F and continue roasting for another 30-40 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165F and juices run clear. If chicken is browning too much, cover with foil and continue roasting.
Let me know if you give this chicken recipe a try in the comments below.